I posted previously that I was participating in a challenge designed to get participants reading more and reading more deliberately. If You Really Loved Me by Ann Rule was my first book for the challenge. I chose to start with it because I've been wanting to read this book since I first heard of it a couple years ago...and the challenge gave me the motivation to hunt down a copy from the library and actually read it.
If You Really Loved Me is a great true crime novel. The book is written in three parts: the crime, the investigation, and the trial. First, she tells the crime as it is happens. In this case, the crime is the murder of the young wife of computer business man, David Brown, and all of the initial evidence points to her 14 year old step-daughter, Cinnamon, as the murderer. The real investigation doesn't come until after Cinnamon is convicted and sentence to prison. In fact, it didn't really begin until years later, when one day, Cinnamon spoke up. And the story she told was shocking, though not as shocking as the whole story as discovered by the investigators. Finally, the book ends with another trial. Ann Rule does a great job of providing us with all of the pertinent information to the case, including giving us the background information to set the scene. Her writing style is straight-forward and interesting enough to keep you interested. It is a heft paperback at 599 pages, but well worth reading for those who enjoy true crime.
I had a special interest in this book because I grew up with Cinnamon. I was 11 when she was first taken into custody. I remember her mom walking down the street to give us updates on the evidence and case as it happened. I always wondered what the complete story was, and now I know.